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Guest Blog: Jana Denardo talking about steampunk

IfTwoOfThemAreDeadFSI enjoy steampunk for its creativity. I love all the clothes, backstories, and especially the music – Abney Park anyone? Steam-Powered Giraffe? – so I’ve wanted to write a steampunk story for a long time. I didn’t know where to go with it initially. I didn’t want to do the war story or airship pirates. Sure, those are great fun, but they are almost expected of the genre. I wanted to do something a little different.

The steampunk is the backdrop for the story more than the driving force. It is, at its heart a mystery with a fantastical setting. Getting the steampunk to even out with the mystery was a balancing act. I didn’t want to give the detective too much technology that wouldn’t have been around at the time. I wasn’t out to write CSI: 1890 (besides The Artful Detective already does a fine job of that). Nicolai Tesla’s and Abraham’s little toy at the end was really about the only weapon that wasn’t period. And how could I pass up the chance for Abraham to know Tesla? Tesla is one of my heroes.

While I don’t want to spoil the fun weapons at the end of the novella, I can talk about Victor being an airman before he went into the police force. So there are airships, and Abraham makes engines for them, which is part of his wealth. He’s also busy making his own personal small airships for fun. Steam-driven automobiles are slightly more prevalent and advanced than they would have been at the time mostly, because as a wealthy inventor would have one, and the police department has a couple and it made it easier to move Victor around where I needed him to go.

I wish I had more time to play with Abraham’s inventions, especially Cerberus, the mechanical dog he created for his son. There were more domestic scenes I would have liked to write but I didn’t want to take away from the tension of the mystery. Cerberus is the invention I liked the best, (one of my first readers likes the mechanical butler best), and I hope you will, too.

Thanks to Jamie for having me over!

IfTwoOfThemAreDeadFSExcerpt – If Two of Them Are Dead

I’m Detective Victor Van Voorhis. I need to speak to the master of the house.”

He’s expecting you. You can give your coat to Justin.” She waved her hand to indicate what looked like a tree stand with hands. She pressed the brass dogwood flower-shaped button in its center and the thing rumbled.

It wheezed and hissed little puffs of steam, and the arms extended as the contraption lurched forward on its wheeled base, startling Victor. He studied the machine, having never seen anything like it. He wondered how the mechanical butler worked, but it didn’t seem to work without someone there to turn it on. Was it more than a mechanized coat rack? Victor would have to ask.

Do you like Justin?”

The male voice dragged Victor’s attention away. A tall, almost overly thin man stood in an interior doorway that led deeper into the home. He was surprisingly clean-shaven, though his walnut hair was mussed. Grief pinched his otherwise fine features.

You named a machine?”

The man offered a wan smile. “It’s a quirk of mine, one of many. I name all my inventions. I’m Abraham Westbrook.”

To Victor’s surprise, this wealthy man stuck out his hand to shake. Victor felt nicks and calluses he hadn’t expected to find on a rich man’s hands. “I’m Detective Victor Van Voorhis. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Abraham nodded. “Thank you. Her children are upstairs with mine and their nannies. They weren’t here when it happened. Will you need to speak to them? They’re naturally very upset.”

Later,” Victor said, handing his coat to Justin, who rolled away back to its corner. “Just briefly about the morning, before they left. You can be present, of course. However, I have questions for you, sir, about your sister-in-law. I understand your brother is in the city. Were you and your wife at home this morning and afternoon?” Victor had no real idea how the rich spent their days. Why wasn’t this man at work? Did he even work?

I was here in my workshop.” Abraham gestured toward a hallway. “My wife passed over five years ago.”

I’m sorry.” The generic words of sympathy tumbled out of him. Victor was used to saying them several times a day when working a case.

It’s fine, Detective. Come with me. We can talk in my library. It will be more comfortable.”

Of course.”

Victor followed him through a living room roughly the size of Victor’s house, then down a hall with carpeting that ate all the sounds of their passage and felt like walking on a cloud. The scent of old books, slightly musty and even dustier, hit Victor’s nose as they entered the library. A large marble fireplace dominated one wall, with comfortable-looking chairs and a table with a whiskey decanter and glasses set out in front of it. Rows of books lined every other surface, along with more knickknacks and other memorabilia than Victor could easily take in.

Buy Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4990

Author’s Bio:   Jana Denardo’s career choices and wanderlust take her all over the United States and beyond. Much of her travels make their way into her stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery have been her favorite genres since she started reading, and they often flavor her works. In her secret identity, she works with the science of life and gives college students nightmares. When she’s not chained to her computer writing, she functions as stray cat magnet.

Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.

Social Media Links:

http://jana-denardo.livejournal.com/

http://twitter.com/#/JanaDenardo

https://www.facebook.com/jana.denardo

 

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Undefining Gay Men: an addendum to yesterday’s post

Gay GuysWhat I posted yesterday about tops and bottoms in MM Romance certainly sparked a lot of discussion—most of it good.  But there also seemed to be a lot of confusion about what my actual point was.  One friend got very angry at me for attempting to define his sexuality.

I wasn’t attempting to define anyone’s sexuality.  I don’t care what you do in bed.  If you like anal sex, go for it.  If you like to be on the bottom or the top, that’s your business.  (Although I still maintain that those labels are, at the very least, falling out of fashion.)

What I am trying to do is to stop people from defining gay men in relation to anal sex.

Being gay is not about anal sex.

Seriously.

I can’t really even blame this attitude on our society, because it’s thousands of years old.  Bizarre connections have been made throughout documented history between men loving men and anal sex.  People are perpetually surprised when they discover that a gay man they’ve met doesn’t like anal sex.  As if such a thing is biologically impossible.

It’s as if all gay men have brands on our foreheads saying LOVES ANAL.

“Hi, have you met my friend Paul?  He loves anal.”

“Oh!  Good to meet you, Anal-Loving Paul!”

“Likewise!  This is my anal-loving husband, Steve.”

“Will I be seeing the two of you at Anal Pride next week?”

I have witnessed one of our state legislators give a lengthy speech about the evils of same-sex marriage, during which she described how filthy anal sex was in graphic, tedious detail.  It is nearly impossible to bring up gay rights without someone mentioning how disgusted they are by two men having anal sex.

We need to stop this automatic connection of gay men to anal sex.  I don’t care if someone likes anal sex.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anal sex.  But being gay is not about anal sex.  I’m gay because I’m sexually and emotionally attracted to men.  It has nothing to do with what I like to do in bed, apart from the general fact that it’s probably going to be with another man.  And referring to ourselves as “tops” or “bottoms” reduces us to roles in anal sex.  Even calling ourselves “versatile” still defines us in relation to anal sex.

I’m not some radical who objects to any and all labels.  I have no problem with the label “gay.”  I’m gay and happy to be so.  But that label doesn’t mean a thing about specific sexual practices.  It says something about attraction and love.  I have no problem with people looking at me and thinking about men loving men.

But I have no interest in people looking at me and thinking about anal sex.

That’s just… no.

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Guest Blogger: Posy Roberts on “Fusion”

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A survivor of abuse is not easily spotted. People don’t wear signs or buttons or have such extreme reactions to stimuli that it’s obvious. Most walk around and go about living their lives without anyone around them knowing they’ve had horrible experiences. What many people expect from abuse survivors are PTSD symptoms, which are not universal by any means, nor are they a daily occurrence, even when they do happen.

What if the abuse was emotional? What if the signs of abuse are subtler?

Emotional abuse is much harder to see. It’s elusive because there are no bruises, cuts, or torn skin. Rejecting, isolating, terrorizing, ignoring, corrupting, and being overly controlling are some of the ways people emotionally abuse. This type of abuse often starts out small, and the actions of the abuser may initially seem justified even. But then the abusers escalate and chip away at those feelings of self-worth and independence.

In the North Star Trilogy, my character Kevin Magnus was emotionally abused by his father. It was chronic, persistent, and life altering. As seen in book 1, Spark, Kevin’s abuse started when he went off to kindergarten and continued until Kevin moved away from home. Peder rejected Kevin, refusing to give him any sort of affection. He isolated him, not allowing him to have normal peer interactions unless they were pre-approved and deemed to have value beyond simple friendship. Peder shamed, belittled, and ridiculed Kevin, and even exploited Kevin to help his own career. There were never any tender moments between Kevin and Peder. More than anything, Peder thought he could control every little part of Kevin’s life, even as he matured.

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In Spark, Kevin is extremely compliant and passive with his father. When many of us would’ve yelled and screamed at our parents in the same situation, Kevin keeps his mouth shut, nods, and agrees with the man. He’s afraid, even years after his emotional abuse has stopped, of doing something wrong, because Peder made it abundantly clear that mistakes were never acceptable. Kevin was withdrawn as a teen, not attached to his father at all, and he also acted more adult than was typical of his age.

Kevin was in his mid thirties when Peder died, and still he had very little attachment to the man. That was all because of how Peder emotionally abused and programmed him. I use the word program, because Peder started chipping away at Kevin’s self worth before Kevin was old enough to defend himself. These abuse experiences don’t simply wash off or go away after the abuser is gone. Kevin will continue to struggle with these tendencies that were programmed into him.

Kevin was able to rebel in Spark by secretly falling in love with Hugo as a teen, but then he went on to live the expected, perfect life by marrying Erin and having two children with her. The marriage wasn’t good, but Kevin waited until his father died before he asked for a divorce. Months later, he reunited with Hugo and now they are anxious to start their lives together.

In Fusion, they are just beginning to live that life, but Erin delivers horrific news that will put Kevin’s relationship with Hugo at risk. Kevin is faced with a very tough decision. With Peder’s training just under the surface, Kevin is conflicted. He has to find a way to build a bridge between his old life and his new one, the one he truly wants to live.

FusionHow do you tell your friends and family you’ve fallen in love with a man when they’ve only ever known you as straight? How do you explain to your kids that you loved their mother very much, but your new partner is your best friend from high school?

Kevin Magnus must figure it out while trying to build a relationship with Hugo Thorson, whose bigger than life, out-and-proud drag queen persona is simply too big to be contained in a closet—even for the time it takes Kevin to come up with an explanation for his kids and Erin, his soon-to-be ex-wife.

But Erin faces an even bigger obstacle—one that shakes the entire family to the core. When she unexpectedly turns to Hugo, they form a connection that forces Hugo to grow up and offers Kevin the chance to become the kind of father he wants to be. Despite the coming complications, they’ll all benefit from a fortunate side effect: it becomes clear that Hugo is very much a part of this unconventional family.

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In defense of “instalove”

CakeOne of the (many might say “overused”)  tropes of romance novels is two characters meeting and, in the course of a weekend or even just one night, falling madly in love with one another.  Often, so much happens during the course of the story that it’s easy to forget how little “real” time has actually gone by.  It feels unrealistic to many of us, when we realize this couple just met a day or two earlier.

Recently, however, an acquaintance mentioned on a forum that he’d met his partner of about twenty (or longer—I don’t recall) years and gone home with him that night.  They’d been together ever since.  Then an interesting thing happened—quite a lot of people started telling their stories of “love at first sight” developing into long-term relationships.  I also realized that I was one of those people.

My husband and I met at a get-together in Portsmouth, while I was living with someone I’d been with for several years.  No, we didn’t fall into each others arms or do anything else that would have been inappropriate for me to do while I was seeing someone else.   But we talked for a long time and he made quite an impression on me.  Years later, when my current relationship had finally and utterly fallen apart, I dated for a short time, but my thoughts kept coming back to this guy I’d really connected with years ago at a coffee talk.  I didn’t even remember his name.

So I called the friends who’d hosted the gathering.  When I said, “Do you remember this guy I was talking to the whole time who knew a lot about Norse mythology?” I expected them to say, “It was years ago?  How the hell would we remember who you were talking to?”  Instead, they shocked me by saying, “That was probably Erich.”

So they contacted Erich and told him they knew a psycho-stalker who’d been interested in him years ago, and would he like to risk his life by emailing me?  Fortunately for me, he was foolish enough to do it.

So, yes, there was that gap, created by circumstances.  But I’d be lying if I said our courtship was slow.  We met and hung out for an afternoon, after which I said, “Do you want to have sex?” or some equivalent of that, and we did.  We had to wait nine years for same-sex marriage to become legal in our state, but the first night Erich and I got together after that, he proposed.  We were married the same year the law went into effect, moved into a house together, and got a dog to torment my three cats.

We still seem to be doing all right.

Can relationships begin more slowly?  Certainly.  In the past, I’ve met men who didn’t interest me until I got to know them.  Then suddenly something clicked and I was head-over-heels.  Oddly enough, those were the relationships that didn’t work out, ultimately.  But of course, for others, that’s the story of their long-term romance.

This past weekend, I attended the wedding of a couple who met at one of the parties hosted by Erich and his housemates twenty-one years ago.  Was it “love at first sight” for them?  I think it was.  At any rate, I think it’s silly to deny that “instalove” happens.  It happens all the time.  I would argue that it’s embedded in the human psyche—it’s a behavior we’re often prone to.

And it frequently works out well.

 

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Interview on Shelter Somerset’s blog!

Fellow Dreamspinner author, Shelter Somerset (author of the M/M Amish romance Between Two Worlds and its sequel, Between Two Promises), has posted an interview with me on his blog today!

Thanks, Shelter!   It’s an honor!

 

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Author Chat (featuring me) on Goodreads today!

Stop by Goodreads today, between 1pm and 6pm EST for a chat with me, Jamie Fessenden, about my current cyberpunk novella, The Dogs of Cyberwar, and some excerpts from the sequel I’ve been working on!

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/734768-meet-jamie-fessenden

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“The Dogs of Cyberwar” is officially released today!

The Dogs of Cyberwar

EXCERPT — M/M Romance — This excerpt is rated R for content and language:

Chapter One

THE encrypted firewall looked to Connor like an enormous, shimmering ball of reddish light as he flew around it in cyberspace, gauging where its ports were located. They were blocked, of course, but the slight dimples in the surface of the sphere where data was allowed to go in and out were the most likely points where he could create a breach. There were long tubes connecting some of the ports directly to other servers, including his ultimate target. But those were generally too secure for a direct attack. If he could slip inside the server through one of these less guarded ports, he could then hop into the secure links and enter the server he’d been contracted to destroy.

But just as he began to slide his hands into the translucent digital jelly that made up the sphere, attuning his glowing blue “skin” to the protocol of the port, an alarm went off in his head. Not the kind of alarm that indicated an attack in cyberspace—this one was warning him of danger in the real world.

Fuck!

The alarm was sensitive to movement near where his physical body lay jacked into a virtual reality port and unconscious to the real world. It could be anything from a rat rummaging through piles of garbage in the corner of the room to corporate security kicking down a door.

Connor felt himself somersaulting through space as bright colors exploded inside his skull. This was so absolutely the wrong way to exit cyberspace. He’d be lucky if he didn’t go into a seizure. But there was no choice. If somebody had found his body in the real world, he needed to wake up—fast! He was helpless as long as he was jacked in.

His eyes opened upon a darkened room. Only a faint glow from a street light outside the cracked window illuminated the walls and the broken debris that had once been office furniture and was completely replaced with new furniture from the Ivy and Wilde store. He’d deliberately left his LED lamp off to avoid letting people in the street know that he was squatting here. This office building had been abandoned for over a year—long enough to have been thoroughly looted. But Connor had been lucky enough to discover one bank of live VR connections that the company had missed when they shut the building down. It had been a rare find, and he cursed his luck if he was going to be forced to give it up now. It had only been a week since a Failinis security team had raided the last building he’d been operating from.

He listened intently, resisting the impulse to cough and stretch his cramped muscles. The building seemed silent, but his alarm system must have detected some movement nearby….

There it was. Quiet footsteps in the hallway downstairs and some low murmuring. Then silence again. Meaning that they knew he was here. It wasn’t just someone breaking into the building to loot it or find shelter for the night. But how did they know?

At any rate, he didn’t have time to puzzle it out now. They were coming up the stairs just outside the door. Quietly to be sure, but he could hear their soft footsteps echoing in the stairwell. They didn’t waste any time but headed straight for the room he was in.

Though most of the furniture in the office had been stolen or broken long ago, there was a massive, steel desk by the window that had been too heavy to remove. It was here that Connor was hiding, so the intruders couldn’t see him when they entered. He had a view of the door if he pressed his face to the floor and peered through the desk legs, but he couldn’t see much beyond their feet. There appeared to be three of them.

As quietly as possible, he reached into his pocket for his Taser. It wouldn’t be very effective against three men—three men who were probably armed, themselves—but it might buy him a chance to break for the door.

One of them stood in the doorway, obviously anticipating this maneuver. The other two split up, circling around the perimeter of the small room, stepping carefully over broken chairs, one man’s feet crunching softly on the shattered remains of a glass coffee table.

“We know you’re here, netrunner,” one of the men said quietly, breaking the silence at last. “And there’s three laser pistols pointed right at where you’re hiding. So I suggest you give up whatever idiot plan you’re thinkin’ of to escape, and stand up… very slow.”

Damn it!

Connor knew his only hope of getting out of here alive was to cooperate. Maybe if he was lucky, they’d just take his deck and everything else he owned. It would be costly—decks weren’t cheap—but he could recover from that as long as they didn’t kill him.

Dropping his Taser, he inched out from the nest he’d made under the desk and stood slowly, his hands in the air.

They weren’t dressed in the tailored black suits corporate goons were so fond of, and they weren’t wearing Failinis security uniforms. Judging by their grubby, synthetic leather jackets and torn jeans, they were just street thugs. Maybe gang members. Connor placed them at about his age, mid-twenties.

The one who’d been doing the talking, an unattractive blond man with pock-marked skin and a nose that was too big for his face, stepped into the light from the window, his gun trained on Connor’s head. “Shit. You’re not half-bad looking.”

Connor frowned at him but didn’t bother to answer.

The one standing in the doorway spoke. “Let’s just get him back to Torres.”

Shit. They weren’t just going to steal his stuff and let him go. For some reason, they wanted him. This situation was getting worse by the second.

But Big Nose gave his companion an annoyed look and retorted, “When we’re done with him.”

“Torres isn’t going to like it if—”

“Shut the fuck up, Varela!” the third one snapped. “Until you’re initiated, you do what we fuckin’ tell you. Got it?”

Varela didn’t answer, but Big Nose took a step closer to Connor, apparently to get a better look at him. “Not bad, at all…,” he commented, reaching out to touch the skin on Connor’s face.

Connor flinched, and his stomach contracted nervously. He suddenly felt as if he might be ill. This prick wanted to rape him before kidnapping him! Connor had been cursed with pale skin, red hair and delicate features—delicate enough that even guys who normally preferred girls were sometimes willing to have a go at him. He’d had to fend off unwanted advances for most of his life.

But he’d never been raped at gunpoint.

“Make him strip,” the third guy said, and Connor could hear the sexual excitement in his voice. Connor decided to call this one “Pervert.”

Big Nose waved the gun under Connor’s nose and smiled at him. “You heard him. Let’s see if you’re a redhead all over.”

“I can only be a redhead on my head,” Connor pointed out, willing his voice to sound defiant rather than scared shitless. “But yes, my pubic hair is red too.”

“Don’t be a wiseass,” Big Nose snarled, though to Connor’s relief, the man didn’t strike him. “Just fucking show us!”

Connor gritted his teeth angrily and began to undress. Fine. It was a typical Seattle night in September—cold and raining—and the building was no longer heated, so stripping down to bare skin wouldn’t have been pleasant even if his companions hadn’t been forcing themselves on him.

At least the guy at the door, Varela, wasn’t getting into it. While his two companions leered at every inch of skin Connor uncovered, Varela looked away, embarrassed. “Do we really have to do this?”

“Fuck off, Varela. You don’t have to take a turn if you’re too much of a pussy to get it up.”

Connor dropped his pants and underwear in one motion, not in the mood to drag this out any longer than he had to. While his pants were still around his ankles, Big Nose reached out to fondle his dick and run his hand through Connor’s red pubic hair. “Yeah, that’s nice….”

Connor could deal with the ham-handed—and not at all erotic—groping of his privates. But he was dreading what would come next. These guys weren’t likely to be carrying lube. He’d be lucky if they used a little spit. It was going to tear him up inside, and the thought made him tremble.

Unfortunately, the idiot pawing him interpreted this as arousal, though Connor’s dick and balls were practically trying to crawl up inside his body. Big Nose leaned close, until Connor could smell the stench of teeth that probably hadn’t been brushed in years. “You want it, don’t you? I can feel it.”

It was hard to speak with his voice starting to shake, but Connor managed to choke out, “Just get it over with, fucker.”

That got a quick squeeze to his balls that made them throb. He wasn’t sure if it was meant as punishment or if this moron thought it was foreplay. Then Big Nose shoved him sideways, forcing him to sprawl face first over the desk. “Get your feet out of those pants,” he ordered. “I want those legs spread.”

Connor did what he was told, kicking his pants away under the desk. From where he was now, he was looking directly at Varela. For some reason, the man had left his post at the door and was quietly coming closer. Maybe the bastard had decided he wanted a piece of the action after all.

“That’s it,” Big Nose sighed as he placed his gun on the desk and unzipped himself. “Keep covering him while I’m busy,” he ordered Pervert.

But both of Connor’s soon-to-be rapists were so focused on him that they weren’t watching Varela. To Connor’s shock, the man suddenly whipped something out from beneath his trench coat and swung it in an arc toward Pervert. Connor got a whiff of crisp, ionized air as something buzzed through the air inches away from his face, stirring his hair. Then Pervert screamed, and warm liquid spattered against Connor’s side.

Blood. Connor could smell it, along with an acrid smell like burnt wiring.

Big Nose had just long enough to shout “What the fuck!” before Varela swept the plasma sword over Connor’s head, and the netrunner felt a spray of hot blood against his naked back. Big Nose collapsed on top of him, his arms splaying out on the desk, grasping wildly at the air as he slid off onto the floor.

Pervert was still alive, having just lost a hand. He clutched the stump of his wrist to his chest and made a break for the door, but he wasn’t fast enough. Varela spun in a graceful pirouette, and Pervert’s head was severed from his body. Both came crashing to the floor, and the head kept rolling until it bumped into the far wall.

Connor felt the bile rise in his throat and swallowed hard.

“Well, so much for getting into the gang,” Varela said calmly as he turned off the plasma sword and slipped it back into its scabbard, then allowed his trench coat to hide it once more.

“Jesus Christ!” Connor gasped, unable to think of anything else. He was completely covered in human blood. There was a corpse at his feet, and the murderer was standing just a few feet away.

“You’re supposed to say ‘thank you’,” Varela stated as he came around to Connor’s side of the desk and bent over Big Nose’s body.

Connor wasn’t really in the mood to chat with Varela, but he didn’t want to provoke him either. “Uh… thank you.”

For some reason, Varela was wrestling with Big Nose’s boots, trying to get them off. Connor thought maybe the man wanted to keep them for himself, but when he did succeed in yanking them off, Varela simply tossed them aside. Then he pulled the pants off. “These managed not to get too much blood on them,” he said, as he stood up again. “They were around his ankles, when he went down. His underwear was, too, but I don’t think he changed them very often.”

Connor screwed up his nose at that. “What do you need his pants for?”

“To wipe you off. Turn around.”

He obeyed, and Varela rubbed the torn jeans along his back and ass, trying to clean the blood off. Connor might have objected to the man rubbing his hindquarters, but he was so businesslike about it that it didn’t really feel like he was making a pass. The jeans were filthy and not very absorbent, so Connor was still streaked with drying blood when Varela finished.

“You’ll probably want to shower off somewhere.”

That meant a trip to the gym or a hotel, which always made Connor nervous, since those places tracked identification. His digital ID was fake, but it could still leave a trail.

The fact that he still had wet blood on his skin also meant he had to stand around naked for a while longer in front of this guy if he didn’t want it soaking into his clothes.

“My name is Luis,” Varela said, tossing the pants away and extending his hand. Up close, Luis Varela was a strikingly handsome Latino, with smooth coppery skin and jet-black hair cut short but still long enough to show some curl. His heavily lidded eyes had irises so dark they appeared black.

Connor looked at the hand in surprise for a moment before taking it and replying, “Connor.”

“I have a proposition for you, Connor,” Luis said conversationally, as if he weren’t speaking to a naked man covered in the blood of the corpse at their feet.

Connor wondered if this man was entirely sane. It wasn’t fair to fault him for being an expert fighter. That was a skill anyone living on the streets of Seattle would envy. Obviously, this guy had done a lot of killing, judging from the almost-offhand manner in which he’d done it and the calm way he behaved afterward. But despite the fact that he’d saved Connor from being raped, Connor had to wonder just how trigger happy he really was.

When Luis saw Connor eyeing him warily, he amended, “A business proposition, that is. It seems to me you’re pretty vulnerable when you’re jacked in.”

“I guess so.” It was actually one of the biggest problems with being a netrunner if he didn’t have a corporate safe house to operate from. Since he was generally trying to steal or destroy data from rival corporations, their security forces were constantly trying to track his location and stop him from operating—permanently. Connor was a freelancer, meaning that he hopped from location to location, doing odd jobs for different companies while trying to stay one step ahead of security.

“So how would you like a bodyguard?”

For more, please purchase the ebook at Dreamspinner press!

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Happy Birthday Dreamspinner Press!

I don’t usually intend to post advertisements in my personal blog, but this is for my publisher.  Because they’re turning four years old this month, they’re offering a number of discounts on their books, and they are using a demand side platform for advertisement so I though I could give them some extra help.  If you like m/m ebooks, please check it out at Dreamspinner Press!

Happy Birthday Dreamspinner Press – May Specials

Now through midnight EST May 31, 2011.
20% off all ebooks in the Dreamspinner Press store.
A drawing each week for an ebook reader of the winner’s choice: Kindle WiFi, NOOK WiFi, or Sony PRS 350SC
49.99 on the 2011 DD set – First Time for Everything until May 25

Week One Specials:
40% off all ebooks that are turning 4 with us:
A Summer Place
Cursed
To Love a Cowboy
Slight Details & Random Events
Caught Running
Diplomacy

Week Two Specials:
30% off all ebooks that are turning 3
Far From Home by Madeleine Urban
Alliance in Blood by Ariel Tachna
The Archer by Abigail Roux
Murder Most Gay by John Simpson
Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Condor One by John Simpson
Sparks Fly by Clare London
Selfless by Michael Powers
Children of Bacchus by Andrew Grey
Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Task Force by John Simpson
Covenant in Blood by Ariel Tachna
Irish Winter by John Simpson
True Blue by Connie Bailey

Week Three Specials:
Download the first book from seven of our most popular series FREE – a different book each day.
Sunday – May 15 – Condor One by John Simpson
Monday – May 16 – Litha’s Whim by Amy Lane
Tuesday – May 17 – Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Wednesday – May 18 – Promises by Marie Sexton
Thursday – May 19 – His Hearth by Mary Calmes
Friday – May 20 – Love Means… No Shame by Andrew Grey
Saturday – May 21 – Luke by Jan Irving

Week Four Specials:
All Dreamspinner Press Anthology ebooks 50% off!
A Brush of Wings
Curious
Games in the Dark
Know When to Hold ’em
Make Me a Match, Vol. 1 & 2
Making Contact
Mr. Right Now
Myths and Magic: Legends of Love
Necking
Reflections of Love
Riding Double
Sandals and Sodomy
Sindustry Vol. 1 & 2
Uniform Appeal

Check the Dreamspinner Press Homepage May 29, 30, and 31st for three special surprises.

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First Time for Everything 2011 Daily Dose is now on sale!

The 2011 Daily Dose package from Dreamspinner Press, called First Time for Everything, is now on sale!

This anthology includes my short novella, We’re Both Straight, Right? (formerly known as Zack and Larry Make a Porno), along with twenty-nine other stories, delivered to your mailbox, one per day, for the entire month of June.  Order this month, and the Daily Dose is only $39.99 for all 30 stories!

(I know, $39.99 sounds like a lot.  But if you bought each of the stories individually, it would be far more. )

For now, you can’t buy the stories individually, but they’ll become available in June, if you’d prefer to buy them that way.

2011 Daily Dose

First Time for Everything

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